Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Je Veux un Vélo

I want a bike. It's been years since I last rode one and now I want to have one again. Even though Miami has a climate that makes the activity of bike-riding quite torturous, I still want a bike. It's fun. Period.

In fact, I have craved wanting to relive my childhood past time for a good year or so. Today, I woke up with the same desire.

I learned how to ride the "grown-up" bike when I was nine. My elementary school P.E. classes started to make us learn bike safety rules and whatnot. I did not do well in my class because I did not know how to ride. As my classmates chased and crashed into each other, thus giving our P.E. teacher premature gray hair, I clung for dear life to the two-wheeled transportation device. I was clearly a little rusty from my trike years and I concluded that needed to do some more practice on my own time if I wanted to do well in the class. I happily told my parents that evening that I wanted to have my own bike because it was fun. So my father rushed to K-Mart and purchased a bright pink helmet and a bike. The bike in question came without training wheels.

I learned to ride within two days.

My father's highly effective method of teaching featured me peddling quickly off the slanted driveway in front of our house to make me careen precariously into the safety of oncoming neighborhood traffic.

Oh, yeah. You'd better believe I learned fast. This wasn't just merely "sink or swim"; it was "ride or die." By the way, I don't recommend this teaching strategy for parents today, lest you want to have child services raid your behind to court.

When I was in France, I did not ride a bike. Not once. It's not like the French are short on bike supplies. Paris has Vélib, a public system that allows people to rent bicycles in time intervals. So does Lyon. Even Dijon jumped on the bicycle bandwagon; their system is called Vélodi. I rarely saw a Dijonnais peddling away, however. What for if we have an excellent bus system that is prone to the occasional strike? I almost got the chance to mount on one. When visiting my ex-boyfriend's village for one week-end, we had marvelous plans of trekking up the hills in the Ain, one of the eight départements which divide the Rhône-Alpes région.

Rain spoiled our potential excursion.

I will get back on a bike someday. But first I have to purchase one.

Barb the French Bean

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Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb